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Mishnayos Nazir Perek 5 Mishnah 4

נזיר פרק ה׳ משנה ד׳


With regard to one who took a vow of naziriteship and went to bring his animal which he set aside for his nazirite offering and discovered that it was stolen, and due to the need to separate an additional animal now regrets having taken his vow, if he took a vow of naziriteship before his animal was stolen, he is a nazirite, as a vow cannot be dissolved as the result of a later event. But if he took a vow of naziriteship after his animal was stolen, he is not a nazirite, as it is retroactively established that his vow was taken in error from the outset, as he relied on an animal he did not possess. And this was the error that Naḥum the Mede erred when he failed to distinguish between an event that occurred before the vow was taken and an event that occurred afterward. The incident in question was as follows: When nazirites were ascending from the exile to sacrifice their offerings, and they found the Temple destroyed, Naḥum the Mede said to them: If you had known that the Temple would be destroyed, would you have taken a vow of naziriteship? They said to him: Certainly not, as there is no remedy for a naziriteship in this case. And Naḥum the Mede dissolved the vow for them. And when the matter came before the Rabbis, they said: His ruling is incorrect. Rather, whoever took a vow of naziriteship before the Temple was destroyed, like these nazirites from the exile, he is a nazirite, as he committed no error at the time of his vow, and one cannot dissolve vows based a new situation. However, one who stated his vow after the Temple was destroyed is not a nazirite, as he vowed based on an erroneous assumption.

מִי שֶׁנָּדַר בְּנָזִיר וְהָלַךְ לְהָבִיא אֶת בְּהֶמְתּוֹ וּמְצָאָהּ שֶׁנִּגְנְבָה, אִם עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִגְנְבָה בְהֶמְתּוֹ נָזַר, הֲרֵי זֶה נָזִיר. וְאִם מִשֶּׁנִּגְנְבָה בְהֶמְתּוֹ נָזַר, אֵינוֹ נָזִיר. וְזוֹ טָעוּת טָעָה נַחוּם הַמָּדִי כְּשֶׁעָלוּ נְזִירִים מִן הַגּוֹלָה וּמָצְאוּ בֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ חָרֵב, אָמַר לָהֶם נַחוּם הַמָּדִי, אִלּוּ הֱיִיתֶם יוֹדְעִים שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ חָרֵב הֱיִיתֶם נוֹזְרִים. אָמְרוּ לוֹ לֹא, וְהִתִּירָן נַחוּם הַמָּדִי. וּכְשֶׁבָּא הַדָּבָר אֵצֶל חֲכָמִים, אָמְרוּ לוֹ, כֹּל שֶׁנָּזַר עַד שֶׁלֹּא חָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, נָזִיר. וּמִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, אֵינוֹ נָזִיר:


מי שנדר בנזיר – and at the time that he took the vow [of becoming a Nazirite], he had the animals [for the sacrifice] and with the knowledge/intention that it was for this purpose he made the vow that he would offer up his sacrifices from those animals, and he went and found that they had been stolen and on account of this, regretted that he took the vow of becoming a Nazirite.

אם עד שלא נגנבו בהמותיו נדר, הרי זה נזיר – and a Sage should not absolve him through this opening for retracting a vow (i.e., suggesting reasons which, if known at the time, would have prevented the person from making the vow), for it was a novel incident changing the aspects of a vow and eventually nullifies it, and we don’t open with a novel incident.

ואם לאחר שנגנבו נדר – and he stated: “had I known that they would be stolen, I would not have made this vow, this is an opening that the Sage could annul.

וזו טעות טעה נחום הנדי כשעלו נזירים מן הגולה ומצאו בהה"ק חרב – and they made the vow prior to the Temple’s destruction and he (i.e., the Sage) released them and the Sages said to him that it was a novel incident changing the aspects of a vow, and eventually nullifying it, and we don’t open with a novel incident, and the Halakha is according to the Sages.

מי שנדר בנזיר. ובשעה שנדר היו לו בהמות ואדעתא דהכי נדר שיקריב קרבנותיו מאותם בהמות. והלך ומצאן שנגנבו ומחמת זה מתחרט על שנדר בנזיר:

אם עד שלא נגנבו בהמותיו נדר הרי זה נזיר. ולא יתיר לו החכם בפתח זה, דנולד הוי ואין פותחין בנולד:

ואם לאחר שנגנבו נדר. ואמר אילו הייתי יודע שנגנבו לא הייתי נודר, הרי זה פתח ויתירנו החכם: וזו טעות טעה נחום המדי שכשעלו נזירים מן הגולה ומצאו בהמ״ק חרב. והם נדרו קודם שחרב הבית, והתיר להן, ואמרו לו חכמים דנולד הוא ואין פותחין בנולד. והלכה כחכמים: